Key Takeaways

What should I do if I’m bitten by a dog in New Jersey?

  • Seek Medical Attention: Immediately see a doctor for your injuries and documentation.
  • Report the Incident: Notify the local health department to record the incident and check the dog’s vaccination status.
  • Gather Evidence: Take photos of your injuries, the incident scene, and gather witness contact information.
  • Consult a Dog Bite Lawyer: Get professional legal advice to navigate New Jersey’s strict liability laws and maximize your compensation.

Dog bites can result in serious injuries and emotional distress. If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog in New Jersey, it is important to understand your legal rights and the steps you can take to seek compensation for your injuries. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of what to do following a dog bite, how to navigate the legal landscape, and how consulting with a specialized attorney can aid in your recovery.

Understanding New Jersey Dog Bite Law

New Jersey operates under a “strict liability” doctrine when it comes to dog bites. This means that the dog owner is liable for any injuries their dog causes, regardless of the dog’s previous behavior or the owner’s knowledge of any aggressiveness. This law is outlined in New Jersey Statutes Section 4:19-16.

The key element of strict liability is that the victim must prove that the bite occurred while they were lawfully on the property where the incident happened. This includes public spaces and private areas where the victim was an invitee or licensee. However, if the person bitten was trespassing at the time of the attack, this law may not apply.

Steps to Take After a Dog Bite Incident

  • Seek Medical Attention: Immediate medical care is not only vital for your health but also provides a documented record of the injuries, which is essential for any legal claims.
  • Report the Incident: It’s important to report the dog bite to the local health department. This ensures that there is an official record of the incident, and it also prompts an investigation into the dog’s vaccination history and behavior.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect as much information as possible. This includes photographs of the injuries, the location of the incident, and contact information from witnesses. Also, obtain the dog owner’s details if possible.
  • Consult a Dog Bite Lawyer: An experienced lawyer can provide crucial guidance through the complexities of dog bite laws. They can help ascertain liability, navigate the legal process, and ensure that your rights are protected.

Compensation You Might Expect

Victims of dog bites can seek compensation for various damages, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Costs incurred for medical treatment immediately after the bite and for any future medical procedures related to the injury.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation if you are unable to work due to your injuries.
  • Pain and Suffering: This includes physical pain and emotional distress.
  • Property Damage: If any personal property was damaged during the incident.

The Role of a Dog Bite Lawyer

A lawyer specializing in dog bite cases in New Jersey will be instrumental in handling your claim. Their expertise allows them to:

  • Navigate Legal Proceedings: They can manage deadlines and procedural requirements while advocating on your behalf in court.
  • Negotiate with Insurance Companies: Attorneys have the experience to deal with insurance adjusters and ensure fair settlements.
  • Maximize Compensation: An experienced lawyer can evaluate the extent of your damages and argue effectively for a comprehensive settlement that covers all your losses.


The aftermath of a dog bite can be overwhelming and traumatic. However, understanding your legal rights in New Jersey can empower you to take the necessary steps towards recovery. With the support of a knowledgeable dog bite lawyer, you can navigate the legal system effectively, allowing you to focus on healing and recuperation.

If you are a victim of a dog bite, consider consulting a legal expert who can provide personalized advice and representation tailored to your specific circumstances. You do not have to navigate this challenging time alone.


New Jersey adheres to a “strict liability” doctrine, holding dog owners liable for bites regardless of the dog’s past behavior or the owner’s knowledge of aggressiveness.

Victims may receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.

A specialized lawyer ensures proper navigation of legal procedures, effective negotiation with insurers, and maximization of your compensation.

Following a dog bite, immediately seek medical care, report the incident to the local health department, gather evidence such as photos and witness information, and consult with a dog bite lawyer.

Under New Jersey’s strict liability law, a dog owner is automatically responsible for any harm their dog causes through biting, regardless of the dog’s previous behavior or the owner’s awareness of the dog’s aggressiveness. This law applies as long as the victim was lawfully on the premises where the incident occurred.

Generally, New Jersey’s strict liability law does not protect trespassers. If the victim was trespassing at the time of the dog bite, they may not be eligible to claim compensation under this doctrine.

A dog bite lawyer helps navigate the legal process, including filing claims, managing procedural requirements, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing your interests in court to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Yes, New Jersey has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including dog bites. It’s crucial to consult a lawyer soon after your incident to ensure your claim is filed within the legal deadlines.

Even if the dog owner is a friend or acquaintance, it’s important to pursue legal action to cover your medical and associated costs. A lawyer can handle these sensitive situations tactfully to preserve relationships while ensuring your expenses and suffering are compensated